Weekly Update on Education

30 August 2011

Fee committee to send questionnaire to schools
The Hindu, August 25, 2011

The Private Schools Fee Determination Committee is preparing a detailed questionnaire to be sent to nearly 2,200 schools in the State, its newly-appointed chairman, former judge of the Madras High Court Justice S.R. Singharavelu, said on Wednesday. The committee had not fixed the fees for these schools earlier, citing lack of adequate information on the expenses incurred by the institutions as the reason. “Now, we will be circulating a revised questionnaire with 10 to 12 questions. The schools will also have to produce their statement of accounts for the last three years, documents on tax returns files and financial statements submitted to the Directorate of School Education,” Mr. Singharavelu told The Hindu.

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Govt schools getting nudged out from Old City
The Times of India, August 26, 2011

In the last five years, the number of government schools in the Old City has shrunk by half. If in 2007, there were 815 government schools in this part of Hyderabad, there are 462 now. Filling the gap are an estimated 350 private schools, many of them not even recognized by the government. While the quality of education they offer is debatable, they are the only choice for scores of parents who send their children here, despite the high fee structures.

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Municipal school students to become tech-savvy
The Times of India, August 26, 2011

Students from municipal schools in the city will soon experience the wonders of digital education, thanks to Yuva Unstoppable (YU) and Times Foundation in partnership with Navrachana University (NU). This new initiative aims at grooming compassionate leaders in various colleges in Vadodara. Under this project, youths will be imparting computer education to municipal school students. “The main focus of this drive is digital literacy which will be driven by college students.

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Outsourcing education: Malaysian doctors will be made in Belgaum
DNA, August 27, 2011

While organisations are known to outsource IT projects and various works to other countries, here is a case you might not have heard of: University of Science Malaysia (USM) has outsourced the entire process of education to a medical college in Belgaum, which caters exclusively to students from the south-east Asian nation. KLE Group of Institutions has set up a college on a 10-acre campus in Belgaum that imparts medical education exclusively to students from south-east Asian countries, mainly Malaysia. Prabhakar Kore, chairman of the group, told DNA that they started the college after USM approached them in this regard.

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Call to better schools infrastructure
The Nation, August 24, 2011

The improvement in infrastructure of public sector schools across the province is need of the hour to cop with increasing number of students. These views were expressed by participants of a post-budget policy dialogue titled ‘Effectiveness of Education Financing for FY 2011-12 in Punjab’ organised by Institute of Social and Policy Science in collaboration with Campaign for Quality Education and Department for International Development at a local hotel here on Tuesday. The speakers included education experts, parliamentarians, academics and representatives of civil society organisations. The participants believed that scarcity of resources was prime factors for low performing education system in the country.

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When Schools Depend on Handouts
The New York Times, August 25, 2011

Earlier this month, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that he and five other wealthy individuals had raised $1.5 million to reinstate the January Regents exams, which New York State had canceled because of budget cuts. Although praiseworthy as a matter of personal philanthropy, the donation by the mayor and the others, whose names were not disclosed, is highly distressing as a matter of public policy. It is disgraceful that essential components of our public education system now depend on the charitable impulses of wealthy citizens.

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Schools policy struggles to fulfill hopes
The Financial Times, August 26, 2011

Up to 24 new “free schools” – publicly funded schools run by private groups – could open in the next two weeks as part of the government’s programme to introduce new providers into state schooling. But the flagship policy will struggle to meet the hopes set out for it. Before the election, Michael Gove, now education secretary, pledged a “superb new school in every community”. At internal meetings within the department last year, officials were given steers that they should attempt to open 100 new schools in 2012, 200 in 2013 and 350 in 2014.

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Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior

Research Paper
Authors: Elisabetta Gentile and Scott A. Imberman

Abstract:Uniform use in public schools is rising, but we know little about how they affect students. Using a unique dataset from a large urban school district in the southwest United States, we assess how uniforms affect behavior, achievement and other outcomes. Each school in the district determines adoption independently, providing variation over schools and time. By including student and school fixed-effects we find evidence that uniform adoption improves attendance in secondary grades, while in elementary schools they generate large increases in teacher retention.

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Improving Access and Quality in the Indian Education System

Working Research Paper
Authors: Sam Hill and Thomas Chalaux

Abstract: Education has been given high priority by India’s central and state governments and continues to grow fast. School access has been expanded by investment in school infrastructure and recruitment of teachers. In higher education too, the number of providers continues to rise rapidly. A new law enshrining the rights of all children to free and compulsory education will further lift enrolment, bringing closer the government’s goal of universal elementary education, which comprises eight years of schooling. Nevertheless, high drop-out rates and low attendance continues to be a challenge at lower levels and enrolment at higher levels remains modest by international standards. Private sector involvement is on the rise. While it helps expand education infrastructure, particularly in higher education, access has not always been assured and the availability of student loans for higher education needs to improve. Poor learning outcomes amongst school students and mediocre higher education provision call for more effective government regulation and funding arrangements. Expanding resources will help but they need to be deployed more effectively, while incentives and professional development systems for teachers need to be strengthened. In higher education the government has proposed reforms which have the potential to bring about much-needed improvements in regulatory effectiveness. Efforts should focus on reducing micro-regulation and improving institutional autonomy, in order to stimulate innovation and diversity. Increasing the number of institutions subjected to quality assessments will be important for lifting standards across the higher education system, while reform of recruitment and promotion mechanisms could help attract and retain talent in academia.

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Next Student First! Dialogue Series on Quality Education for All

"25% reservation under the RTE act: are we getting it right?”

Clause 12 of RTE mandates all private schools to reserve 25% of their seats at the class of entry for children from economically weaker sections. In a bid to provide every child with free and compulsory schooling, the government proposes to compensate private schools according to per-child-expenditure incurred by the government or the fee charged by schools - whichever may be lower. As genuine as intentions may be towards inclusive education, the devil lies in the details. Towards this, School Choice Campaign initiates the next Student First! Dialogue '25% reservation under the RTE Act: are we getting it right?'

14 September 2011
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India


“Can the Private Sector Play a Helpful Role in Education? It Can, If it Targets Disadvantaged Students”

A good public education system means public spending – but not necessarily public provision. In OECD countries, more than 20% of public education expenditure goes to private institutions – communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations, trade unions, private companies, small informal providers and individual practitioners – and about 12% is spent on privately-managed institutions.

But does private participation mean higher quality education? Does it bring better exam results? Can it encourage greater equality?

For more visit World Bank’s blog


RTE Coalition

To initiate and continue the discussion amongst concerned groups and individuals on the issue of right of education and monitor the implementation
of the RTE Act, an RTE Coalition has been formed. Join the coalition to make universal elementary education a reality in India.

Log on to
for more information.



Should students be included in School Management Committees?

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Skill Vouchers - Global Experiences and Lessons for India

Leah Verghese and Parth J Shah

A study of the role that skill vouchers can play in catalysing demand for quality skill development services. This study examines global experiences with skill vouchers and draws lessons for India from these experiences.

For more click here


Reservation in Private Schools under the Right to Education Act: Model for Implementation

Shekhar Mittal and Parth J Shah

Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and seeks to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same.

For more click here


School Vouchers for Girls

400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit our website


Support Children's Right to Education of Choice!

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